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Sensory bin: ideas to awaken children's senses

by | Mar 9, 2021 | Do It Yourself, Games, Games and Development, Parents

Inspired by the Montessori pedagogyThe sensory tray is an indisputable activity. Ideal for the development and the awakening of the child. It stimulates the senses, fine motor skills and imagination. The sensory tray puts an explorer's cap on your child. He will touch, feel and manipulate several objects. In short, the sensory tray is a source of infinite discovery. It can be made with a multitude of themes and different objects.

Where to put the sensory bin? 

It is necessary to prepare yourself mentally for the fact that some sensory containers are dirty. Therefore, it is recommended to install them in the playroom or outside if the sun is present. Otherwise, there is also the trick of the tablecloth under the tray.

The rules to follow for a good use of the sensory bin

To make sure the activity goes smoothly, don't hesitate to set up a few rules:

  • Everything that is in the bin must stay there, nothing is spilled.
  • The objects look appetizing, but nothing is meant to be swallowed.
  • We wear clothes adapted for this activity.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • The cleaning is done by two!

We don't forget that the goal is to have fun and discover.

But first, where to buy the sensory bin?

A sensory bin purchased in a store or online

sensory tray : 3 different models proposed by the Hoptoys brand

You might as well say that the choice is enormous. So you will find several models at all prices. They are adapted to children and easy to use. A quick and efficient solution if you don't have much time. You will find your happiness here.

A homemade sensory bin

Don't have a lot of money, but time and energy to give? You are on the right part of the article. Nothing goes to waste, almost anything can be turned into a sensory bin. Don't worry, even if you have two left hands, you can do it. Just take a basin, an old box, a garbage can, a shoe box and turn it into a discovery bin. Adapt the theme of the bin according to the container you have recycled.

What to fill the bin with?

The basic element of the sensory bin

Usually the tray is filled with sand or water. However, you can switch to rice, pasta, oatmeal, ground coffee, dried beans, ice cubes or shaving cream.

The tools to be handled

To work on fine motor skills, it is necessary to add tools. For example, a small spoon, measuring cup, pipette, funnel, tweezers, bucket or small jars.

Small accessories 

Pompoms, feathers, corks, food coloring, animals, buttons, plastic fruits or vegetables, small wooden blocks or letters, or fabric scraps.

The elements of nature 

Depending on the season, nature can provide you with endless possibilities for creating bins. Try writing down your sensory bin ideas ahead of time to create a nature shopping list to do with your child. Grass, leaves, flowers, wood, rocks, pine cones or even shells.

2 ideas for a sensory bin

Cleaning the farm animals 

Source : Pinterest

Here you will not need one tub, but two. In the first, water and cocoa powder. This will give the child the impression that the animal figures are dirty.

Indeed, the texture will be close to that of mud. Then, in the second tub, soapy water and a brush. All that is necessary to make the animals clean as a whistle. On the one hand, the child develops his fine motor skills thanks to this type of sensory activity and on the other hand you make him responsible in an indirect way that can only be beneficial to gain in autonomy.

A sensory tray to write well

Source : Pinterest

To prepare for the latter, nothing could be easier. First, you need a tray. Then colored rice, marbles and a stick. All you have to do is put a certain number of marbles in the tray and ask your child to write the number with the stick. Here your child learns to count and write.

You can replace the rice with sand, flour or coffee and the marbles with any small accessories that the child can count.

This idea can also be adapted for the letters of the alphabet or geometric shapes to be transcribed with a finger, a stick or a brush!